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Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and Global Citizen Organizes Youth Dialogue

The UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, together with Global Citizen, the social action platform that aims to engage the international community in solving the world’s biggest challenges, organized a youth dialogue to discuss how youth can contribute to organizations and to the delivery of the 2030 Development Agenda.

Taking place on the second day of the World Government Summit (WGS 2018), the youth dialogue drew the participation of His Excellency Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment; Forest Whitaker, Founder and CEO of Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative, UNESCO Special Envoy for Peace; Goldie Hawn, Actress, Director, and Producer; Adnan Amin, Director-General International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), and Wei Soo, Co-founder of Global Citizen.

The youth dialogue began with a presentation by Wei Soo, who explained the history behind the creation of Global Citizen, as well as the work it performs in the world today.

Moderated by Khalid Al Ameri, an Emirati columnist and social commentator, the dialogue explored some of the effective endeavors and engagement options to achieve the broad range of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) under the 2030 Development Agenda. The session also discussed how governments can support youth interested in pursuing their career in sustainable development.

Highlighting the role of youth, and their importance to organizations and nations, His Excellency Dr. Al Zeyoudi said: “In the private or public sector, if your organization is doing business as usual, without improvements or innovations, it’s because of a failure to engage youth. The minute you hire young people, you see a major shift in the way business is conducted. I’m very proud of our youth and what we have accomplished because of them. At the same time, young people need to learn from experts, and embrace their wisdom to incorporate it into their mindsets for the future.”

A special focus of the dialogue was on youth entrepreneurship, particularly in developing ventures that create positive social impacts and contribute to delivery on one or more SDGs. These goals will profoundly influence the conditions young people grow up under, and their progress in the future.

Speaking about the importance of engaging youth based on his own work with the Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative, Forest Whitaker said: “We have been successful in training and preparing young people to lead movements. They can bring the economy forward and effectuate change in their own lives. When given the opportunity, they can do amazing things.”

Goldie Hawn explained the importance of teaching children the values of happiness and emotional well-being: “Teaching children to understand and manage emotions takes time. But if we are going to change the world and create peace, we can’t only work outward, we have to also work inward – happiness is an inside job. It’s about becoming a beacon of inspiration and guidance for others. Raising children that are less angry and listen better, will lead to better governments and better communities.”

Co-founder of Global Citizen, Wei Soo also added: “We need to mobilize young people to take action to tackle issues such as gender equality, global health, and the fight to end extreme poverty. For the global community to work together, we will need a new direction by young people like you. As the founding father of the UAE, late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan once said, ‘the most important resource of a nation is its youth’.”

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the World Government Summit 2018 runs from February 11 to 13 at the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai. The landmark event convenes more than 4,000 participants from 140 countries, including heads of state and governments, as well as top-tier representatives of 16 international organizations.

Hosting more than 130 speakers across 120 interactive sessions, WGS 2018 features five distinct forums that examine the challenges of vital sectors for the future with a view to finding the best resolutions for the greater global good. Furthermore, over 20 specialized global reports spanning key sectors and topics of the summit are being launched during the event.


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